Beauty queen Theresa Vail, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, weighed in on comments made this week by a female Army colonel at Fort Leavenworth who said another female was too pretty to appear in Army publicity photos.
Vail, who represented Kansas at this year’s Miss America pageant and made the top 10, took to Twitter to react to the controversial statements that appeared in a leaked email.
“Unfortunately that is the sick reality and one of the many stereotypes I'm trying to break,” Vail wrote. “However, it is going to take an army of women to break that perception, not just myself.”
In the email, posted on Politico.com, Col. Lynette Arnhart suggested that the Army needs to break its “tendency to select nice looking women” for publicity photos. She criticized a specific photo of a woman wearing makeup while on duty.
“In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead,” wrote Col. Arnhart. She was reportedly advising the Army about how to attract more women to combat roles.
Back in September, Vail gained attention for being the the second contestant ever in the Miss America pageant to be on active duty.
"Nobody expects a soldier to be a beauty queen," Vail told People magazine at the time. “But I'm all about breaking stereotypes."